What You Should Know About The New Mercedes E Class
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Mercedes debuted its all-new E-Class Saloon at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit last week. So what do we know about the fifth generation wunderkind upon which rests the hopes of the Stuttgart giant. The premium German auto maker describes it as “sophisticated, confidently stylish and sporty”, and “taking the world by storm”. Is it hype or marketing hysteria primed for an American target market, let’s take a look at the evidence. Inside, you can spec your E-Class with two “next-generation” 12.3-inch displays, one sitting behind the steering wheel and the other in the centre of the dashboard. The shared glass is designed to give the illusion of one long screen that appears to be floating. The steering wheel has Touch Controls with built in gesture functionality enabling you to access certain controls through a series of swipes. There’s also an iDrive-style touchpad and controller down where we expect to see the gear lever – handwriting recognition makes programming the sat nav a lot easier. And LINGUATRONIC Mercedes’ voice control system. The interior looks way better than the 4th generation ever did, it looks as close to possible as it can get to the S Class with open-pore woods and metals used in the cabin in conjunction with leather-covered door panels give it a very luxurious look. There are even 64 LED bulbs that are hidden in door handle recesses, door pockets, footwells and the overhead console to give an extremely premium air. Mercedes-E-Class-CH-Cream-Interior Optional 40:20:40 split folding rear seats demonstrate how this car is still designed with some families in mind, where practicality doesn’t go overlooked. Something else that’s family-friendly is the rear centre armrest, that has a built-in stowage box and pop-out cup holders. The Frontbass system that comes as standard uses the empty space in the cross-member and side member as a resonance chamber for the bass, to provide a better 3D sound system. The new E Class is slightly bigger, the chassis has a 65 mm longer wheelbase but the length of the car has only increased by 43 mm, thus creating more rear legroom for those who reside in the back. Its tail lights are similar in design to those of the new C-Class and S-Class, giving it a strong identity as part of the Mercedes saloon family. The front wings, bonnet, boot lid and other significant sections of the front and rear are made of aluminium, the name of the game being weight saving. Add to this the drag coefficient cd value of 0.23 which is made possible thanks to the optional AIRPANEL Advanced shutter system which closes off sections of the grille and lower bumper, and you have yourself a highly efficient mid-sized luxury motorway-mile-muncher. Mercedes-E-Class-CH-Front The entry-level engine in the UK will be the E 220d, a 2.0-litre diesel unit that produces a more-than-adequate 195 bhp and 400 Nm. Despite this, it will do a claimed 72.4 mpg, emitting just 102 g/km of CO2 making it £20 a year to tax. The E 350d, the quickest to 62 mph (5.9 s). The 258 bhp and 620 Nm are made possible thanks to a 3.0-litre 6-cylinder diesel engine that still manages to achieve a claimed 55.4 mpg. The only petrol engine currently planned for the UK is the E 200 turbo. It’s another 2.0-litre unit, this time producing 184 bhp and 300 Nm. Petrols are never cheap to run, but the claimed figure of 47.9 mpg puts it in line with older diesel engines. Lastly, there’s the E 350 e – a 2.0-litre plug-in hybrid that will produce 279 bhp and 600 Nm. It’s the cheapest to run, too. If you plug it in whenever the opportunity arises, you can get up to a claimed 134.5 mpg. Emitting just 49 g/km of CO2 is a great achievement for a mini-limousine, and of course it’s free to tax! All engines in the lineup have an ECO stop start function built into them to maximise fuel economy, and the new 4-cylinder 2.0-litre diesel found in the E 220 d (coded the OM 654) has been configured with impending RDE (real driving emissions) limits in mind. Mercedes’ super slick 9G-tronic automatic transmission is specced as standard on all models. Mercedes-E-Class-CH-Garage There’s an E 400 4MATIC that isn’t currently planned for the UK, but there are more engines that we could expect to see, including a lower powered 150 bhp diesel, various petrols with outputs ranging from 183-245 bhp and even a 6-cylinder 333 bhp petrol. Steel suspension is standard, but we don’t want that. We want the optional AIR BODY CONTROL. The suspension technology features a multi-chamber air suspension that features all-round self-levelling capabilities (for example when the boot is fully-loaded). It can also lower itself at higher speeds in favour of fuel economy, or the driver can request that it raises for better ground clearance. DYNAMIC SELECT is no new feat, with the familiar Comfort, ECO, Sport, Sport+ and Individual modes. Mercedes has an obvious goal in sight with this new E-Class. Autonomy. There are a vast array of driver assistance packages available. As standard, you get Active Brake Assist which will provide the driver with just the right amount of braking assistance during an emergency brake. It can even automatically apply the brakes should the driver not react. ATTENTION ASSIST is another system that we’ve seen before, which keeps tabs on the driver in case he or she becomes drowsy and less alert. Crosswind Assistance does as it says on the tin too. Mercedes-E-Class-CH--Tan-Interior   Optional driver assistances include an advanced version of Active Brake Assist adds a higher speed threshold. It also takes into account crossing traffic at junctions. It can also foresee traffic jams, therefore braking earlier. This system is built to avoid accidents at speeds of up to 62 mph, although it is not guaranteed to keep you clear of an accident every single time, of course. If the driver performs a sharp steering movement, Evasive Steering Assist will keep the car to a clean line and facilitate the straightening-up afterwards, just for that extra piece of mind. On the subject of accidents, PRE-SAFE® impulse side inflates the front seats’ side bolsters to move the occupants just that little bit further away from the impeding car. PRE-SAFE® sound foresees the accident and emits a short interference signal, which will prepare the occupants’ ears by triggering a natural reflex. More advanced systems include the optional DRIVE PILOT. It’s capable of following cars at speeds of up to 130 mph. Steering Pilot works at up to 81 mph, and fret not! The conditions need not be perfect. The system takes into account other road users and parallel objects just in case there are no road marking or they’re unclear. Car-to-X communication is a mobile phone-supported way of “seeing around corners” and “through obstacles”.   Speed Limit Pilot will autonomously adapt the vehicle’s speed based on camera-detected speed signs and the limits that are pre-programmed into the sat nav. The Active Lange-Change Assistant is a camera- and radar-based system that will change your lane when it’s time to overtake. All you need to do is indicate for at least 2 seconds. We’ve already seen the BMW 7 Series’ parking assistant, well now it’s time for the E-Class to jump on the bandwagon. A mobile app works just the same with this all-new Mercedes. You can even use your NFC-enabled phone as a key! Inside, the Multifunction Telephony comprises of a NFC connection system and a Qi wireless charging dock. The E-Class is the next car to get all-LED headlights. MULTIBEAM LED comprises of 84 individually-controlled high-resolution automatically-illuminating LEDs that adapt to corners and avoid dazzling oncoming traffic. The new generation E Class will on sale in later this year, prices have yet to be confirmed but expect Mercedes to mark up the price by at least £1,000 across the range with entry level models starting at around £36k. UPDATE: The new E-Class will cost from £35,935 in the UK in entry-level E 220 d SE trim. The top of the range E 350 d AMG Line mode will cost £46,610.  Mercedes-E-Class-CH-Studio
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